BREAKING: Multiple “suspicious” fires reported in Burney

UPDATED: Sunday, Sept. 8, 2 p.m.

See Original Report below.

BURNEY — Based on official radio traffic and witnesses who live near where at least three to four fires were reported burning in the power line area of Carberry St and Mountain View Rd. of Burney, all fires have been contained and no property damage has been reported. Although initial reports indicated that fires might also be burning in the Johnson Park area, it is believed those reports originated from smoke that filled the Burney basin area.

Multiple fire crews that responded to the reported fires have since left the area and a CHP incident log indicates the firefighters are now headed to another fire reported burning in the Paynes Creek Recreational Area near Bend Ferry and Jelly Ferry roads.

Officials are now searching for a black or green vehicle, possibly a Subaru, that was seen leaving the area of that vegetation fire. CHP’s incident log indicates CHP’s H-14 aviation crew is assisting in the search for that vehicle; however, it has not been reported that the vehicle or its occupants were involved in starting the fire.

No further updates have been provided regarding a white vehicle that had been seen leaving the area where the Burney fires were started; but with assistance from witnesses, officials located the vehicle in the 37000 block of Clark Creek Rd. Official radio traffic indicated that Cal Fire arson investigators and Shasta County sheriff’s deputies were interviewing the occupants of that vehicle to determine if they were involved in starting the fires in Burney.

Contacted for more information about the multiple fires, CHP and Cal Fire officials could provide no further details about their ongoing investigation; however, officials did confirm that no homes were being threatened by the fires.

Original Report

BURNEY — Multiple fires have been reported in the Burney and Johnson Park areas and Cal Fire, along with Burney Station deputies, are flooding into the area to confirm where the fires are burning and to assess the different fires’ movements and rate of spread. Official radio traffic indicates that at least three to four different fires have been reported, and that all fires are currently less than a quarter-acre each.


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Authorities were first alerted to the fires around noon this afternoon, Sunday, Sept. 8, after SHASCOM began to receive multiple reports from citizens reporting fires in the power line area near Carberry St. and Mountain View Rd. Several 911 calls also originated from the Johnson Park area, but it was not immediately known if that was due to smoke that filled the two neighboring communities.

Within minutes of the first reports, local fire companies began to arrive in the area and were followed shortly thereafter by Cal Fire spotter planes and helicopters. A PG&E helicopter was also soon seen flying low over the area, as officials searched for the source of the fires.

A photo posted to social media shows what appears to be multiple separate fires burning in the power line area. Mary Hardwick Cummings photo

Shortly after 1 p.m., SHASCOM reported that a white vehicle, possibly a truck or SUV, was seen along the power line area blocking the roadway. However, before deputies could arrive in the area to investigate, the vehicle was seen leaving toward SR-299E.

Witnesses who followed the vehicle reported it was first seen headed eastbound on SR-299E and then northbound on SR-89.

It was not immediately known if the vehicle was involved in starting the fires or was a citizen who drove into the area after seeing smoke billowing into the sky.

Other radio reports indicate witnesses saw a tent on fire in a homeless encampment near where at least one of the fires was burning and witnesses reported seeing several people fleeing from the area of the camp. It was not immediately known if those reports were related to the white vehicle seen fleeing the area.

A short time later, radio traffic indicated that with assistance from witnesses, a Cal Fire Fire Prevention Officer located the white vehicle in the 37000 block of Clark Creek Rd.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m., deputies responded to Clark Creek Rd. to assist Cal Fire arson investigators with the ongoing fire investigation.

Some reports indicate at least one or more of the fires have been contained; however, additional fire crews are continuing to respond into the area.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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